3 Ways to Burn Yourself Out

America is a culture of die-hard work addicts. Our industrial strength, our inner satisfaction, and our economy runs solely on the ability of men and women to work tirelessly day in and day out to create a stable, functioning nation.

We’re a driven society. We rely on our abilities to push numbers, grow companies, and see profits that will in turn render our existences valuable. Meanwhile our families suffer. Single parent homes are becoming a norm. Divorce rates are at an all time high. Children all across the country are being raised with only one mother or one father.

The American society is running on literal fumes.

According to http://www.statista.com, 64% of American adults report that money is the top source of stress in their lives. They also include that 69% of male financial professionals in the U.S. are “burnt out.” Professions all over the United States are having to attain a new policy on working conditions and expectations. Why?

It seems that productivity has decreased, engagement has taken a back seat, and many people are simply existing in their working positions. The American people are burnt out.

Before I share my insights with you I want to ask this simple question: What is burn out? 

Www.helpguide.org explains this issue like this: “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.”  Some symptoms include, but are not limited to, “feeling tired or drained most of the time, change in appetite or sleep habits, sense of failure and self-doubt, loss of motivation, isolation, and possibly using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope.”

“Burn out” is an incredibly serious issue because it has the power to drive someone deep into depression, isolation, and even cause physical illnesses. If you’re currently breathing oxygen, odds are you’re always at risk of burning yourself out.

How is it that we defuse the flame of motivation so quickly? How is it that our drive, purpose, and fire becomes squelched within the first few years of our career? I believe that there are three contributing reasons for this on-the-rise issue.

  1. No Priorities
    • Lacking priority is a sure-fire way to burn yourself out. Without having a set system of what’s most important in your life, you’re going to continually fall in the trap of over-committing. When you over-commit you find yourself with less time to pour into the things that should be most important. I can’t tell you what should be important in your life but I can, and will, tell you to figure that out. If you don’t you’ll more than likely find yourself suffering from burn out.
  2. Yes-Men
    • I alluded to this in the previous paragraph but I want to elaborate a little more here. I’ve met an incredible amount of people in this country and not many of them are willing to say no. I’ve struggled with the concept before but it never ends well if you can’t tell someone no. Most of the time these “yes-men”, or women, are birthed because they suffer from what I described in number one. If you have your priorities in place, saying “no” will become a lot easier and less pain-staking. Remember, it’s ok to say no.
  3. Vacation isn’t Important”
    • Who would ever think that vacation isn’t important? We all love vacation. I love vacation. You love vacation. In fact, you’re probably now thinking about your next vacation, or lack thereof. I’m going to prescribe that this idea of “vacation” be taken a little deeper. You will quickly burn yourself out if you don’t take time for you. There’s an incredible joy to be found in pursuing the things that light your soul on fire. Read a book, walk a park, go to the beach, take a nap, write a song, whatever! If you don’t take time for yourself to be refreshed then I guarantee that burn out is right around the corner.

I write all of this because I’m personally in a season of “renewing.” I wore myself thin because of school, work, and all of the other ongoing aspects of my life. Burn Out is not a fun way to live life and it’s not an easy thing to recover from.

What could you be doing differently to save yourself from burning out? Do you have priorities in place? Are you a yes-man? Do you take time for yourself?

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